NewsSecurity Vulnerabilities

Cisco IOS XE Software Web UI Privilege Escalation Vulnerability [CVE-2023-20198 and CVE-2023-20273]

Updated – 20/10/2023

CVE number – CVE-2023-20198 and CVE-2023-20273

Cisco is providing an update for the ongoing investigation into observed exploitation of the web UI feature in IOS-XE. A fix has been identified and the build, test, and release process has been initiated. The first fixed software releases are estimated to post on Cisco Software Download Center on Sunday, 22 October 2023.

Cisco’s investigation has determined that the actors exploited two previously unknown issues.

The attacker first exploited CVE-2023-20198 to gain initial access and issued a privilege 15 command to create a local user and password combination. This allowed the user to log in with normal user access.

The attacker then exploited another component of the web UI feature, leveraging the new local user to elevate privilege to root and write the implant to the file system. Cisco has assigned CVE-2023-20273 to this issue.

  • CVE-2023-20198 has been assigned a CVSS Score of 10.0.
  • CVE-2023-20273 has been assigned a CVSS Score of 7.2.

Both of these CVEs are being tracked by CSCwh87343.

These vulnerabilities affect Cisco IOS XE Software if the web UI feature is enabled. The web UI feature is enabled through the ip http server or ip http secure-server commands.

Further information – This advisory is available at the following link:

Jason Davies

I am one of the editors here at I am a UK based technology professional, with an interest in computer security and telecoms.

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